Blast from the Past
From Leo Martello’s Weird Ways of Witchcraft (c) 1969; I’m rather fond of #6 on his list:
The Witch Manifesto
1. The International Tribunal to try Inquisitional Crimes (posthumously) is for the purpose of a) To morally condemn the Catholic Church for the torture and murder of witches and those accused of such, something never done publicly by any religious or secular government, and b) Descendants of witches and non-witches burned at the stake to sue the Catholic Church for $500 million in damages and reparations.
2. Descendants of Salem witches, or those accused of such, to sue both the city of Salem and the churches responsible for $100 million in damages, economic loss, injustice and reparations, and to clear the names of their ancestors and demand a public apology.
3. The persecution of witchcraft and witches in America is in violation of Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. The laws on the books against witchcraft are to be abolished as well as those discriminatory laws which are religious in origin and in violation of the Constitutional Separation of Church and State.
4. All laws against healing, fortune telling, psychic phenomena covered by “pretending to foretell the future” or covered by “fraud”, as long as they are on the books must be enforced against all those priests, ministers and rabbis who offer prayer, masses, healing, holy relics and “blessings” … who collect tangible benefits by offering intangible rewards. Since none of them can offer tangible proof of an afterlife. the salvation of souls, or a place in Heaven, all priests, ministers and rabbis who collect money for the same are, according to current laws, “accepting money under false pretenses.”
5. Enforcement of the Civil Rights Act. Witches are America’s (and the world’s) most persecuted religious minority. Witches must have the right to work, and to housing, without having to hide the fact that they’re witches. Discrimination against them because of their religious and personal convictions violates their right to Fair Housing, their Civil Rights and their right to Religious Freedom. The same unconscious prejudice against witches for being “black” magicians is the same unconscious bigotry against the black man … projections of the Christian’s own theology and “black thoughts.” Because of this both the witch and the black man have been unable to secure justice since the courts are primarily composed of White Christians: Anything “black” is bad; anything “white” is good.
6. The Catholic Church to be sued by all those “believers” who bought statues, paintings, pictures, scapulas and medals of those saints which the Church on May 9, 1969 dropped from their Liturgical Calendar. By its own admission the Church has committed fraud, has accepted money under false pretenses, or has given its moral and official sanction for the manufacture and sale of these items, especially those depicting St. Christopher. They have committed fraud and should be legally prosecuted just as any other individual or firm who does the same.
7. The basis for Reparations against the Catholic Church and those in Salem are the same as those applicable to any citizen who is falsely arrested. The fact that it happened hundreds of years ago doesn’t negate the wrong. If a man can prove he was falsely arrested and sue, what about those who were falsely tortured and murdered? Since the dead man (witch) can’t sue or collect damages his descendants both genealogically and religiously (witchcraft) can and will. The Church claimed human lives. The Witch Manifesto is only claiming compensatory damages … asking for Justice … and a return of those moneys and properties confiscated by the Church from its victims.
8. Witches Protest Demonstrations, Marches, Rallies to be given a legal permit by the city in which they occur. Failure or refusal to do so by any city indicates religious discrimination and will be fought in the courts. Just as most cities permit St. Patrick’s Day parades, a saint whose authenticity is now in dispute, a religious march secularly sanctioned, witches have the same right to a Witches Day and a Witches’ Parade.